What Makes Nike’s Air Monarchs An Iconic Dad Sneaker

, , 43 Comments


– My first day at Nike’s
campus was interesting because they didn’t give
you direct instructions on where to actually go. They gave you a map and say good luck. I get on the elevator, I go up to the fourth floor, the door’s open. I look up, there’s Larry Miller,
President of Jordan brand. Look to the right, there’s Michael. I’m in complete shock, so much so that I’m pressing the button on the elevator. Unfortunately, it was the wrong button so the door is doing a awkward
motion of jutting open. And as the door is doing
this, MJ reaches his hand through the door, grabs my chest, and says, “Are you the intern?” So I’m nervous, I’m
stuttering, I’m worried. I’m like, this is Michael
Jordan touching me right now. This is crazy. But it was fascinating
because he knew my journey. He knew where I came from. And he was excited to spend
that moment asking me, you know, what am I going to do
with this opportunity. And then when I got to my desk, I was told that, “Hey, you’re assignment
is to design lace tips.” I didn’t realize it was a joke. I figured, if I’m here, I
have to start at the bottom. So I did a thousand sketches
’cause that was my cadence. And after about two weeks
he came back to check on me ’cause he had assumed that
I figured out it was a joke. Ended up getting several design patents for different ways to lace shoes. But what it showed
people was my work ethic and my desire to do
whatever I needed to do to be part of that team. When I received the brief, at first my colleagues kinda made fun of me because it’s the ultimate dad shoe. It was meant for someone that
was the complete opposite of the typical Nike muse. I knew, in my heart and in my
mind, that I wouldn’t be able to work with an athlete
if at first couldn’t work with the people in the community that actually prepared athletes
to become who they are. It wasn’t always the person
who was strong and athletic. Sometimes it’s the person that
was present and endearing. That was the role of the father. And what we wanted to do is use comfort as a performance feature
because if this person’s on their feet all day, comfort
is the number one feature they care about. They don’t have a lotta time
so they wanna make a very easy and frictionless decision. JCPenney or Sears is
right around the corner from their house. They want the same shoe at the same price with the same function all year long. Being able to leverage
that archetype of a dad and then do something that made him feel extremely comfortable was
exactly what I wanted to do to start my career. So, step one is doing a
critical analysis of areas that were already
well-regarded by the consumer. We knew that the colors that they love were white
and blue, all black, if they felt fashionable, all gray. So we wanted to make sure we
didn’t tamper with the color. That was the first piece. Keep what works. We also kept the widths. We knew that wide was
better for this consumer. So we wanted to make sure
that we improved on that. The bold move was actually creating a logo of its own for the footwear. We wanted to brand it as
if it was a signature shoe. So we brought in a
different graphic element. We improved the thickness
of the tongue ’cause that was something that
the consumers loved. They wanted a chunkier tongue. We wanted to make sure that
we took the marshmallow shape and sculpt it a little
bit more to make it faster but at the same time not reduce comfort. So it was pretty fun. It was like taking a ball o’clay and just sculpting it subtly to give it a little bit more shape,
a little bit more form, and just enhance
everything that had worked and remove anything that caused
friction for the consumer. When I see people wearing
the Monarch, we did our job. Fortunately enough, that product went on to become one of the
highest grossing products in the history of footwear. Now it’s become a cultural
icon which is hilarious. But back then, we were
simply doing what was right to serve the local hero. (funky music)

 

43 Responses

  1. Positive Vibes

    June 16, 2018 3:16 pm

    They're not as iconic as the white grass stained new balances. Dads can't wait to cut grass in those bad boys lol.

    Reply
  2. HighFlyer

    June 16, 2018 7:00 pm

    Looks like something my dad would wear. Personally I've been a Dad for 20 years and wear DC shoes. Last Nike I bought we're a pair of PooBah cycling shoes about 20 years ago.

    Reply
  3. Cubs City

    June 16, 2018 7:34 pm

    Wow! I gotta pair of them joints and them suckers is HUGE!!! (For a size 11) 😂😂😂
    #ShaqFeet

    Reply
  4. Bailey Henderson

    June 21, 2018 1:04 am

    Buy papa Murphy's stock instead of the video because frsh has 700 percent surprise last quarter it was 16 cents per share but amzn and pizza competition is less effective for investors in percentage

    Reply
  5. Rockems

    June 24, 2018 8:32 am

    Never let Josh Barro have an opinion piece ever. That was so awful I had to come here to voice it.

    Reply
  6. Jeong Do Kim

    July 30, 2018 9:21 pm

    Finally , I can wear my dunk sb Brooklin projects without worrying about too much color going on.

    Reply
  7. Enrique C

    November 8, 2019 6:59 am

    Well, many history missing here but I've got many shoes since I was a kid until now (22), even some of the kinda expensive "hype" ones, but these are the best by far.

    Reply
  8. Chris Akane ASMR

    December 22, 2019 11:53 pm

    bought the air monarchs 😆 aye They fire bro if anyone talks shit I'll be like bet and pull up pics of my jays. Yea i have jays to dawg 😆 i got them 3s. I have 12s taxis i got foamposites. I have air max 95s 90. Then i got 14s …. You see what iam saying i have real shoes lol

    Reply

Leave a Reply